Substances which damage the ozone layer
To protect human health and the environment, the European Union wishes to limit and monitor the production, marketing and use of substances which deplete the ozone layer within the Community, and exports of those substances to third countries.
Regulation (EC) No 2037/2000 replaced Council Regulation (EC) No 3093/94 on substances that deplete the ozone layer, so as to adapt the Community rules to the technical developments which had occurred since that Regulation was adopted and in line with the changes made in 1995, 1997 and 1999 to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. In laying down stricter control provisions than those of Regulation (EC) No 3093/94 and the Montreal Protocol, it takes into account the increasing availability of products that can replace those which deplete the ozone layer.
The Regulation applies to:
- the production, importation, exportation, placing on the market, use, recovery, recycling, reclamation and destruction of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), other fully halogenated chlorofluorocarbons, halons, carbon tetrachloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, methyl bromide (MBr), hydrobromofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and bromochloromethane, hereinafter referred to as "regulated substances", and, in certain cases, products or equipment containing these substances;
- the information to be reported concerning these substances;
- inspections and penalties;
- new substances.
Bans and restrictions on regulated substances within the EU
The Regulation provides for a phased restriction on the use, placing on the market, production and importation of virgin HCFCs, with the deadline for final elimination set at:
- 31 December 2009 for the placing on the market, use and importation of HCFCs. Many uses (and imports) of HCFCs, e.g. in aerosols, as refrigerants or as solvents, were, with a few exceptions, banned from the date on which the Regulation entered into force;
- 1 January 2015 for all HCFCs, including recovered substances;
- 31 December 2025 for the production of HCFCs.
As regards CFCs, other fully halogenated chlorofluorocarbons, halons, carbon tetrachloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, hydrobromofluorocarbons and bromochloromethane, the placing on the market, use, production and importation of these substances were banned from the date on which the Regulation entered into force. The ban does not apply to products and equipment produced before the Regulation entered into force.
Under the Regulation, the placing on the market, use and production of methyl bromide will be reduced from 1999 and completely banned from 31 December 2004 and a ban placed on use by undertakings as from 31 December 2005.
Furthermore, the production, release for free circulation, inward processing, placing on the market and use of new substances listed in Annex II to the Regulation are prohibited. The Commission may make proposals to include in Annex II any new substances with significant ozone-depleting potential.
Exceptions and exemptions
By way of exemption, the Regulation provides for the possibility of regulated substances being placed on the market and used. A restriction (quota) applies to the quantity which may be produced, depending on the quantity of the substance on the market or used during a reference year.
An exception to the ban on production and importation is provided in the case of essential uses (as defined in the 1987 Montreal Protocol) of CFCs, other fully halogenated CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride and 1,1,1-trichloroethane and critical uses of methyl bromide. These substances may also be produced or imported where it is impossible to obtain them from recycling or to find a suitable substitute product. What constitutes an essential or critical use will be decided by the competent authorities in each Member State (in the case of methyl bromide) or by the Commission, taking account of proposals from the Member States (in the case of other substances). The Regulation also allows the placing on the market and use of halons that have been recovered, recycled or reclaimed in existing fire protection systems until 31 December 2002, and the placing on the market and use of halons for critical uses in accordance with Annex VII.
Regulation (EC) No 2038/2000 amended the main Regulation, allowing temporary export authorisation to be granted for metered dose inhalers and medical drug pumps.
To the extent allowed by the Montreal Protocol, and for reasons relating to industrial restructuring within a Member State, between Member States or with a third country under the Protocol, a producer of one of the regulated substances may also be authorised to exceed the production limits laid down, provided the maximum level of production for the Community as a whole is not exceeded.
In an emergency, where the proliferation of certain parasites or diseases makes it necessary, the temporary use (for no more than 120 days) of methyl bromide is authorised by way of an exception to the abovementioned general rule. The amount used may not exceed 20 tonnes.
Any producer or importer who is authorised to place on the market or to use the regulated substances may transfer these rights to other producers or importers of those substances in the Community. The Commission must be given advance notice of any such transfer.
Regulated substances may be put into free circulation or subjected to inward processing only upon presentation of an import licence and, in the case of release for free circulation, subject to quantitative limits. Import licences will be issued by the Commission. The free circulation or inward processing of regulated substances and of products containing such substances and originating in States which are not parties to the Montreal Protocol will be prohibited.
Furthermore, customs authorities, the producers, importers and exporters of regulated substances and users who have been granted exceptional authorisation to use these substances will be obliged to inform and notify the Commission. Before 31 March each year, they must send specific data on each regulated substance.
Rules on exports
The Regulation introduces a general ban on exports of regulated substances. However, exports of substances other than methyl bromide and HCFCs to States which are parties to the Montreal Protocol will be authorised (under an export licence issued by the Commission) to the extent allowed by the Montreal Protocol, and if such exports are necessary to meet those States' basic or essential domestic requirements. Exports of (products containing) methyl bromide and HCFCs to States which are not parties to the Montreal Protocol may, in exceptional cases where those States have fully complied with the Protocol, be authorised by the Commission, after consulting a committee composed of representatives of the Member States. The Council may alter the Commission's decision.
Other exemptions allow the exportation of regulated substances, including controlled substances for feedstock and processing-agent uses, recovered, recycled and reclaimed halons intended for critical uses in accordance with Annex VII until 31 December 2009, metered dose inhalers and delivery systems with temporary authorisation, and certain used products and equipment containing rigid insulating foam or skin foam made from CFCs.
Recovery of regulated substances
The Member States must introduce systems for recovering, for the purposes of recycling, reclamation or ecologically acceptable destruction, CFCs, other fully halogenated CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, hydrobromofluorocarbons, HCFCs and bromochloromethane contained in:
- refrigeration and air conditioning equipment and heat pumps (except for household freezers and refrigerators up until 31 December 2001);
- equipment containing solvents;
- fire protection equipment and fire extinguishers.
Leakage of regulated substances
To prevent leakage of regulated substances, Member States were required to lay down the minimum training requirements for personnel responsible for maintaining equipment containing those substances by 31 December 2001. The Commission is to assess the measures taken by the Member States and, where appropriate, propose measures concerning minimum qualification requirements.
All possible measures must be taken to avoid and reduce leakage of regulated substances. The Commission must, as appropriate, disseminate notes describing best environmental practice and best available technology for the prevention of leakage.
The Member States were required to lay down penalties for non-compliance with the Regulation and notify them to the Commission by 31 December 2000.
Base date for the allocation of quotas
Regulation (EC) No 2039/2000 amended the base year laid down in Regulation (EC) No 2037/2000 for the allocation of HCFC quotas so as to take account of changes in the market with respect to importers. The new base year was 1999. This base date was amended further by Regulation (EC) No 1366/2006 to take account of the Member States that joined the European Union on 1 May 2004. For the undertakings from those Member States only, the average market share for 2002 and 2003 was laid down as the new basis.
|Act||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Regulation (EC) No 2037/2000||30.9.2000||-||OJ L 244 of 29.9.2000|
|Amending act(s)||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Regulation (EC) No 2038/2000||30.9.2000||-||OJ L 244 of 29.9.2000|
|Regulation (EC) No 2039/2000||30.9.2000||-||OJ L 244 of 29.9.2000|
|Decision 2003/160/EC||8.3.2003||-||OJ L 65 of 8.3.2003|
|Regulation (EC) No 1804/2003||5.11.2003||-||OJ L 265 of 16.10.2003|
|Decision 2004/232/EC||10.3.2004||-||OJ L 71 of 10.3.2004|
|Regulation (EC) No 2077/2004||24.12.2004||-||OJ L 359 of 4.12.2004|
|Regulation (EC) No 29/2006||31.1.2006||-||OJ L 6 of 11.1.2006|
|Regulation (EC) No 1366/2006||26.9.2006||-||OJ L 264 of 25.9.2006|
|Regulation (EC) No 1784/2006||25.12.2006||-||OJ L 337 of 5.12.2006|
|Regulation (EC) No 1791/2006||1.1.2007||-||OJ L 363 of 20.12.2006|